The strength of charity

I have spent most of the day either in meetings or taking phone calls from reporters. It was a good day all in all. The reporters were interested in the recent story that broke about our honors college’s capital campaign (see the note below). What I wanted to note about it here was the great amount of support that people have shown for students in need. In this case, the support is coming from parents of other students. As one of my high school classmates said on facebook,”It’s inspiring to know that we don’t have to force people to help each other…just ask!”

From my SHC blog:

This morning an AP story has been picked up around the country about our innovative fundraising initiative that was begun by several of our students’ parents to help other Scholars who are in financial need. This special appeal encourages parents who are able to do so to make a gift equivalent to the $3,500 Academic Excellence Scholarship their son or daughter is receiving from the Schreyer Honors College or in any amount that they may choose. Each year even after the AES and other scholarships are counted, many of our Scholars have significant financial need. Last year at this time there was well over $1 million in unmet need.

Some history about this fundraising initiative: Over a year ago parents of current Schreyer Scholars approached us and said that while they have been happy to give back to the SHC to help other students they realized that there are likely many other parents in similar financial situations who could help others. So last year a letter went out from one of our parents and the result was over $200,000 dollars raised, including a $100,000 endowment for a Trustees Scholarship. For the 2008-09 academic year, $120,000 was given out to 34 students who had high financial need.

The appeal has gone out again this year with a letter sent from another parent. It is important to note that in neither campaign have students ever been asked to “give up” their scholarship. This appeal is directly to the parents of students who have not applied for financial aid. It is very exciting and encouraging that it in such times of financial difficulties for so many there are those who are in a position to donate who come forward and enable us to support our students.

You can read the entire AP story here.

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